We were good parents. We know people assume otherwise when they see our wide ties and honking red noses, but we were. We took that job seriously. We told our son that he could be anything he wanted to be, just like you’re supposed to. Yes, we could see his embarrassment when we showed up for Career Day, how he threw the basketball into the field as our tiny car pulled in so that his friends would look away. And though we were happy clowns, smiles broader and wider than any lips, the disappointment underneath our makeup was easy to read. “It’s fine,” we said, fitting on our over-sized shoes and adjusting the flowers in our hats. We told ourselves that he would get over it.
“Where do you get so much energy?” I asked my daughter recently, the age-old parenting question. She was running around like on any other day while I sprawled supine on the floor. Not because I had any unusual reason to be tired. I was tired because that is the state I have been in for the last four years. […]